Green meetings by the numbers: Measuring environmental impacts keeps goal-setters on track
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Posted by: Amanda Ulbrich
GMIC November webinar recap:
The Magic of Measurement!
norm for meetings industry professionals to set goals to decrease their
environmental footprint. But goals aren’t useful without data to track their progress,
said Hugo Kimber, speaking at the Green Meeting Industry Council’s November 13
without application does not enable achievement,” said Kimber, a veteran green
industries strategist who was involved with the UK travel industry’s first
sustainability initiative in 1988.
his thoughts on the importance of measurement and data collection for the green
meetings industry, noting that measuring the environmental impact of events
serves two key purposes: the first is to save on energy costs; the second, more
subtle purpose is for meetings industry stakeholders to stay relevant in a
percent of major companies intend to deselect suppliers that don’t meet their
sustainability targets,” Kimber said. "It’s a shift from ‘nice-to-have’ to
‘need to have.’ This all hinges on data collection.”
collection begins with identifying data sources, like energy, water, and carbon
emissions. Kimber advised participants to begin with measuring the data that’s
easiest to obtain.
what your own key performance indicators (KPIs) are,” he said. "Measure
relative to KPIs, not gross impacts.” He emphasized the importance of keeping
goals manageable. "Reduction targets should be realistic and informed by data,
Arell, founder of Arell Logic in Denver, Colorado, echoed many of Kimber’s
sentiments as she described how she measured the results of the sustainability
program she established at the Colorado Convention Center.
started our recycling program in 2007, we needed to know after one year of
recycling that we had a 13% diversion rate,” she said. "So for 2008, we had to
set a goal of how much we wanted to divert.” She emphasized the need for tangible,
the metrics of sustainability initiatives, rather than guessing at what might
be a success, is a practical approach to developing a new sustainability
program, Arell added.
novel task of measuring the environmental impact of sustainability initiatives has
now become a regular feature in Arell’s professional routine. "This is just
something I do every month when I get the bills,” she said. "We keep on these
numbers on a monthly basis. It’s one way we are able to identify if any
practice is working.”
To watch the whole webinar as well as download worksheets helpful in measurement visit the link here.